What's the Best Dog Food For Rat Terriers? | Herepup
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What’s the Best Dog Food For Rat Terriers?

This dog breed is often described as ‘stubborn, fearless, intelligent, and intuitive’. But what’s the best dog food for Rat Terriers? What do you feed a dog who is as much a companion as an individual? That’s a super-important question—but luckily, we’ve done the research and have come up with an answer.

Our Top Picks For Rat Terrier Dog Food

**There's more info below, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.com.

**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.

Rat Terrier Calorie Requirements

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Older Dogs
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Typical Adults
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Active/Working Dogs

**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet. 

These small, yet energetic dogs might have less body mass than some other breeds—but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this minimizes their need for a quality, nutritional calorie base! Rat Terriers are intelligent, quick-on-their-feet, and friendly. They make excellent companions—and will live a much more active and fulfilling lifestyle if you feed them right!

This dog breed will generally grow to be between 13 and 16 inches tall (at the shoulder), and will end up weighing somewhere between 10 and 18 pounds. A Rat Terrier that’s less active in his or her lifestyle will generally consume somewhere around 380 calories per day, while an animal with a more moderately-active routine will eat more like 470 calories.

A highly active Rat Terrier, however, will need quite a bit more—somewhere closer to 740.

Just remember that different Terriers will have different individual weights and personalities—which will usually mean that their caloric requirements will be different as well. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your dogs when they eat, just to make sure that they seem to be getting enough to keep them going at their specified meal times.

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Looking for more information on the Rat Terrier? Check this out.

This video does a great job of explaining how bold and fearless the Rat Terrier is—despite its small size. If you want to know more about Rat Terriers, or would like to understand your own Terrier a little bit better, then I would definitely recommend that you check it out.

Macronutrient Information for Rat Terriers

Like all dogs, Rat Terriers require a diverse and high-quality range of nutrients and foods to keep them happy, healthy, and going strong. Because they are a small-breed, they tend to be susceptible to a few different joint conditions—so a diet that’s full of Omega 3, Omega 6, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin will be immensely beneficial.

A grain-free dog food is best for this breed, as it helps to keep their digestive system cleaner. Meat based proteins are definitely the preferred source of energy for terriers.

A diet that’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will help to keep this dog’s immune system strong and capable—which will do a lot to keep him or her from getting sick and coming down with other diseases or conditions.

Common Health Problems

Rat Terriers tend to be pretty healthy little dogs, for the most part—though, like any other breed, they can get sick and deal with health problems from time to time. Dealing with such issues as they arise is usually a pretty common-sense ordeal, and may require a visit to the veterinarian.

Not all Rat Terriers will have all of these problems—but that doesn’t mean that it’s not good to be aware of what could go wrong. On that note, here are some of the most common health conditions that this breed tends to deal with.


Many dog breeds suffer from allergies—and Rat Terriers are one of them. Some symptoms of this problem may include itching, scratching, or irregular odors. Ear infections can also be caused by allergies—as can infections and irregular ‘bumps’ on the skin.

This article does a great job of explaining dog allergies and how to identify them—and is definitely recommended reading if you own a Rat Terrier, and then choose best food for rat terrier.

Feeding your dog a high-quality kibble that’s grain free can do a lot to help alleviate allergy problems. It can also help to be selective when it comes to products like flea powders, shampoos, and bedding.

Patellar Luxation

This condition, also known as ‘trick knees’, occurs when the kneecap ‘slides out of place’. It happens in the rear legs, and can cause a lot of pain for your pet. Small dogs tend to be the most susceptible to it, and Rat Terriers are no exception.

Feeding your pet a diet that’s rich in glucosamine and formulated to be anti-inflammatory can do a lot to help prevent Patellar Luxation. Making sure that he or she gets enough quality exercise time to build muscle mass can also help.

This article does a great job of explaining the problem in greater detail—and I would recommend checking it out if you own any small-type dogs—including Rat Terriers.

Incorrect Bite

This condition is also known as ‘Malocclusion’, and refers to a condition in which the jaw is slightly deformed and misaligned. Rat Terriers can be prone to all three different types of the condition—and some severe cases might need to be corrected surgically.

The good news is that this problem sometimes solves itself as the puppy grows. The bad news is that surgery will probably be required if the problem interferes too much with the animal’s life and well-being.

This can be a complicated problem—so I would suggest taking a look at this article to get more information. It provides some pictures and does an awesome job of explaining the condition in-detail.

How to feed a Rat Terrier Puppy

Rat terrior dog food reviews

Rat Terrier puppies generally begin the weaning process between weeks 5 and 6 of age. Keep in mind that dogs need to have incisors and molars before they’ll be able to eat kibble—so it’s incredibly important to keep the puppy on its mother’s milk (if at all possible) before this process can be completed.

Rat Terriers do the best when they remain with their mother and birth-litter until they’re 7 to 8 weeks old. By this time, the weaning process will be complete, and the puppy will have been socialized enough to adjust to life with other animals and new people.

Most Rat Terrier pups will weigh around 3 pounds by the time they’re 8 to 9 weeks old—which means that they’ll need about 140 calories per day (usually separated into three separate meals) to stay fueled and energized.

Our Recommendation: The Best Dog Food for Rat Terriers

Merrick Grain Free Small Breed Recipe

As you probably know, there are a lot of high-quality dog food options on the market. A simple internet search is likely to reveal dozens of results—making the selection process arduous and tedious.

But we’ve done the research, and have come up with an answer. As far as we’re concerned, one of the best dog foods for Rat Terriers is Merrick Grain Free Small Breed Recipe Pet Food.

This quality kibble is packed full of all of the good things that Rat Terriers need—and we enthusiastically recommend it for awesome dogs and loving canine-owners alike!

It’s grain free, contains quality sources of meat-based protein, and is formulated with key vitamins and minerals—all of which will make it easier to digest and healthier than most other dog foods on the market.

It also comes with plenty of Omega 3s, Omega 6s, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin. These will help with the Rat Terrier’s pre-disposition for bone and joint problems.

Pros and Cons

  • Grain-Free
  • Filled with plenty Omega 3s, Omega 6s, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine
  • Contains high-quality animal proteins and antioxidants
  • Contains alfalfa, which is considered by some to be a controversial ingredient
  • While it can be ordered online, it can be tough to find in local pet stores

If you’re looking for a quality dog food that’ll keep your Rat Terrier happy, healthy, and strong—then you should definitely consider giving Merrick Grain Free Small Breed Recipe Pet Food a try. It’s packed with everything that amazing dogs need, and will do a great job of keeping your pet energized and operating at full-power!

Image credit: Amazon.com, https://www.flickr.com/photos/txbowen/


Laura Harris

Dr. Laura Harris is our resident dog health expert. She started to fact-check dog health-related information for HerePup during her internship and contributes since then. Her expertise is in dog nutrition, senior dog care, especially critical care medicine and internal medicine.

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Beth Ducote - February 23, 2018

What meat would you recommended for a rat terrier that poops a lot did or lamb or ?


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